Ephesians 3:19-4:10
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(When do you feel most competitive with others)

(If you can, describe a time when you were so enthralled or captivated by someone or something that you completely lost yourself in the moment, person or experience.)

Look at Ephesians 1: 11-12 In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory.”

  • According to this scripture, why do you exist, what are you here for?
  • What do you think “the praise of Christ’s glory is?”
  • What might that look like in this life? What about in the life to come?

Read Ephesians 4:1b-3 “Walk worthy of your calling with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”

  • When you read that, does it feel at all like a to-do-list?
  • Do you feel any pressure?
  • Do you ever feel like the Christian walk is like a competition with other believers?

In the sermon, Peter told a funny story about competing for humility:

I once heard a story about a pastor who threw himself down at the front of the church in humility. The choir director happened to observe this from the balcony, then he too came to the front of the church, threw himself down and cried, “I’m nobody. I’m nobody!” Following that, a congregant came up to the front and did the same, at which point the choir director nudged the pastor and said, “Look who thinks he’s a nobody.”

  • Can you think of a time when you were trying to “follow the law” and ended up judging or hurting someone in the process?
  • During times you’ve tried to keep the law in your own strength how did you feel?
  • What was the end result?
  • Have you ever found yourself “following the law” and not even trying it?
  • How was that experience different from trying to do it in your own strength?
  • Where do you think the strength that time come from?

It appears that scholars argue incessantly about what it means when Paul writes, “He descended into the lower parts of the earth.”

#1 Some argue that it refers to the descent into Hell–that hole in the ground.

#2 Some argue that it refers to His descent into human flesh, wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.

#3 Some argue that it refers to His descent into us, through the power of His Spirit.

  • What do you think “He descended into the lower parts of the earth” means?
  • Which understand is most meaningful to you personally (and why)?

~These questions were created by Kimberly Weynen